Lavant Horticultural Society, Chichester

Lavant Horticultuiral Society
Bue flower spikes of Liriope muscari

A short selection of things to do in the garden this month, with links to more comprehensive advice.

October (to look back to September, click on the hydrangea to the right).

A glorious Indian summer, or early frosts? In any event, leaves will start falling. Clear them up regularly so they don't block out light or harbour pests such as slugs. Turn them into useful leaf mould: - put them into a post & chicken wire pen or into plastic waste bags; ensure the leaves are wet and make holes in the bags with a garden fork. Mowing is an easy way to collect the leaves and chops them up so that they will decompose more quickly

Liriope muscari

Protect patio containers from getting waterlogged during the winter by raising them on tiles, bricks or purpose-made feet so that water can drain out. Put alpines somewhere sheltered from the worst of the rain – they do not mind the winter cold, providing they do not get too wet.

Now is the time to apply grease bands or barrier glue to the trunks of fruit trees.IThis stops flightless female winter moths climbing up to laying eggs in the trees, avoiding caterpillar damage next spring. Apply also to any stakes that join trees above the barrier. For deeply fissured bark the glue is best, as moths might be able to climb up inside a grease band.

When storing apples,Iuse only good condition fruit (windfalls will invariably be bruised) and put them in single layers. Cardboard supermarket trays are useful as they can be stacked and allow some circulation of air. Check regularly to remove bad apples before they affect the rest.

As temperatures fallIand you bring tender plants back inside, first check them carefully for pests & diseases – it’s easier to treat them while they are outside. If a plant still looks unhappy, tip it out of its pot to examine the root ball for soil-based pests, such as vine weevil.

Don't forget about hanging baskets -Ia little deadheading, watering and feeding can keep them going until mid-autumn. Once they are past their best, re-plant with spring-flowering bulbs, winter heathers, trailing ivies and spring bedding plants.

Avoid feeding plants late in the season,Ias this will encourage soft, sappy growth that is more vulnerable to damage by frost and by wet, and can encourage fungal diseases to develop.

Click above to look back to

September

Click below for

more comprehensive

advice for this month

from the RHS

Click below for the RHS

webpage on plants for

bees & other pollinators.

Wildlife in the garden

Click above for results of this year's count

An easily made insect hotel

Click for details from Sussex Wildlife Trust

Dead wood is also good for wildlife.

Click to find out more.